When it comes to helping salmon, Bonneville has “been dragged kicking and screaming every inch of the way,” said Bill Arthur, a Sierra Club representative in the Northwest. Mr. Arthur praised the agency’s efforts to add wind power, but he argued that the four lower Snake River dams, which are far smaller than major dams like Grand Coulee, were not needed to back up wind power. Instead, he proposed putting wind turbines in more places, to help balance power generation by ensuring that some are always in an area where the wind is blowing, or relying more on the Northwest’s natural gas plants in combination with energy-saving measures. He also noted that if the dams came down, dismantling them could take six or more years, allowing plenty of time to plan the transition to new power sources.And you see: the Sierra club's effective policy is to increase fossil fuel dependence and increase CO2 emissions.
Welcome to the blog. Some people say I'm a notorious troll, but I don't think I'm all that famous. I write about controversial things. Things that cut deep into angry politics. Things that cut deeper yet, dark regions of the world. To write about energy as a policy issue, you rub into the ugliest sides of the human world. Rural poverty. Environmental devastation. Human climate modification. And there are troubling tradeoffs, exemplified by the fact that the key driving force of climate change is the rise of the developing world and its industry. The humanitarian goals of anyone who's interested are awkardly conflicting. So this blog is about two different things: cheap, clean energy. I'll tell you up front what I think and what I'm interested in. I think anthropogenic global warming is extremely interesting. I think it's an amazing catastrophe, and I'm fascinated by what makes it tick. It's like space travel: we're visiting another planet, studying its alien atmosphere. I have absolutely no idea whether AGW is worth stopping quickly, or whether that's unfeasible. This is not a political statement: I really, genuinely am deeply puzzled by this problem. I'll write about it at length, but I won't be coming to any conclusions. Respectively, these are the "James Hansen" and "Bjorn Lomborg" positions. I'm interested in clean energy sources: nuclear, hydropower, coal+carbon capture. Interestingly enough, other self-styled environmentalists oppose all three. I will spill ink on the problem of 'eco' scams. I will ridicule silly things like solar panels and biofuels. I will be generally dismissive of wind turbines. And I will be vicious when the subject of natural gas comes up as a "clean energy" sources, being pushed by jokers like T. Boone Pickens and (really) Greenpeace. Most of all, I'll exposit my personal favorite, the nuclear breeder reactor. I'll write about alternative nuclear reactors and the science behind closed fuel cycles. This blog will be directed at a moderately-technical audience, as the best arguments are quantitative. (Quick question: anyone know how to embed XML elements in Blogger, e.g. MathML or SVG objects?) I'll start right off. Here's a new story I noticed in the New York Times: As Wind Power Grows, a Push to Tear Down Dams Salmon fish vs. global climate change. Interesting priorities. Note that, as the utility says in the article, hydropower is pretty the much the only clean option for load-balancing intermittent wind power. The Denmark/Sweden system is a case study. The Sierra Club wants to use natural gas instead:
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